This year, however, Summey and the Longhorns made it to the peak and won the first state track championship in school history.
For leading Kell to the state title, Summey is the 2012 Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Boys Track and Field Coach of the Year.
“It was a team effort,” Summey said. “Every coach on our staff plays a big part in this. All of us had so much to do with our success, but, at the end of the day, it’s the kids who play the biggest part. It’s all the hard work and effort the kids put in. We have a good group of athletes, and they did what it took to achieve this.”
The state title was the culmination of what has been a steady climb to elite-level status for Kell over the last few years.
After emerging as a state powerhouse with a fifth-place Class AAAAA finish in 2009, Kell came close to winning it all in last year with its third-place showing in AAAA — only four points behind champion Clarke Central.
This year, Kell finished as the runner-up to McEachern at the county meet, and then to Pope at the Region 5AAAA. The Longhorns, however, saved their best for last at the state meet.
Propelled by Jordan Chambers’ victories in the shot put and discus, and Devon Williams’ sweep of the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, Kell scored 48 points to beat out the runner-up, county rival Sprayberry (37).
“Nobody dared to say anything about winning the state title going in, but we did expect to finish in the top three,” Summey said. “We got a big boost from Jordan winning the shot put and discus on the first day, but nobody wanted to talk about (winning the state title) until we saw what the runners did (in their finals). It wasn’t until the last hurdles race, when Devon won the 300 hurdles, that we knew we won it.”
Summey gave much of the credit for the team’s success to its close working relationship with the Kell football team. A number of football players — including Chambers, hurdler Quincy Mauger and sprinter Brendan Langley — played a strong role in the Longhorns’ state title.
“We work very well with the football program,” Summey said. “As long as we have fast people on the football team, we will have fast people on the track team, so the two things go together well.”
While Summey will be losing Chambers and Williams from her state championship squad, she will still have a strong nucleus returning in rising seniors Mauger, Langley and Jordan Jackson, a state qualifier in the 300 hurdles.
“I think we are building a solid foundation here,” Summey said. “We want to be a state contender for a long time.”